Champions League football has returned and we now have the first two teams in teh quarter finals after Arsenal trounced Porto 5-0 and Bayern Munich got a screamer from Arjen Robben to push them past Fiorentina on away goals.
Here's Robben's goal:
Arsenal appear to be hitting full stride at the right time, not just in the Champions League but also in the EPL, where they sit level on points with Chelsea, just two back of Manchester United. Although Samir Nasri scored a nice solo goal, the real talk has been of Nicklas Bendtner's hat trick. This comes after critics were railing on him for a series of egregious misses against Burnley. Bendtner has long thought highly of himself and Arsene Wenger has given the young man plenty of chances despite his too oft profligacy in front of goal. No matter how many he scored, I still say he's overrated and he rarely strikes fear in the heart of opposing defenses.
Today's big drama is the return of David Beckham to Old Trafford as AC Milan have a mountain to climb against Man U. The 3-2 away victory for the Red Devils puts them squarely in the driver's seat, but let's see if Ronaldinho can conjure up some old magic.
More intriguing possibly is the Real Madrid-Lyon match. Lyon take a 1-0 lead into the Bernabeu, the key there being they did not concede an away goal in France. This will be an all important match for Madrid, as they have not reached the Champions League quarterfinals five years running, and nothing less was expected of the new galacticos this season. They should probably complete the task, but it could be a tense affair. Coming off the 3-2 victory over Sevilla and taking over top spot in La Liga will give the home side confidence, but you always get the sense that that confidence can be easily rattled and the crowd made nervous.
Lyon have probably overacheived, though that seems to be the consensus in the Champions League every year from the general public who don't fancy them as much as the big boys from the big three leagues. Of course to the Lyonnaise, they have perpetually underachieved, never taking the next step forward in the Champions League that their domestic dominance would call for. Still, I don't think today will be that day.